Missing Dockstar? Get Dock Icon Mailbox Badges with This Dockstar Alternative!

dockstar alternative
Share the knowledge

If you are looking for a Dockstar replacement to give you multiple mailbox or folder notification badges on your Mail dock icon, or if you wondering how to have multiple email notifications badges on your Mac Mail dock icon, you’re going to love this Dockstar substitute! Monitor unread messages in more than one mailbox or mail folder!

Dockstar was a great little add-on program for Mac Mail which added extra, user-defined badges to the Mac Mail dock icon (it also added indicators to the menu bar).

dockstar replacement substitute alternative

As Dockstar said on its website, “Power users can’t live without DockStar to keep tabs on their many folders and accounts. Casual emailers love DockStar’s fun shapes, colors, and sounds.”

The problem is, many of those power users who couldn’t live without Dockstar now have to, because Dockstar quit being supported after 2016. And the last version of Dockstar (version 4) was only compatible up to OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 (which was really El Capitan beta), and Mac Mail version 9.3. That means that people running El Capitan 10.11, Sierra 10.12, High Sierra 10.13, and Mojave 10.14, and beyond were SOL and had to go without their beloved dock-icon-on-steroids that Dockstar gave them.

The Internet Patrol is completely free, and reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP.

CashApp us Square Cash app link

Venmo us Venmo link

Paypal us Paypal link

Until now.

The Dockstar Alternative Replacement

Let us introduce you to Mail Perspectives, which is a component of a quartet of small Mac mail add-on programs bundled into an offering called MailSuite, and offered by Small Cubed.

In total, MailSuite is made up of Dockstar alternative Mail Perspectives (more on that below), MailTags (allows you to tag and organize your email by “keywords, projects, importance, color, due dates and more”), SigPro (signature management), and Mail Act-On (mail processing rules).

Now, Mail Perspectives is in fact much more than a Dockstar replacement – in fact, in the description of Mail Perspectives, Small Cubed doesn’t even mention the badges on the dock icon. Says Small Cubed of Mail Perspective:

“Whether you want to see the latest message or the recent message list, Mail Perspective’s compact window design means your email can always be visually available, but never the focus of your attention until you need it.

Sure your inbox is important – but if you are like many Mail users, you probably have several mailboxes which are just as important if not more so. Use Mail Perspectives to create a compact Perspective window for each of your critical mailboxes. Use the All/New/Today bar to tailor which messages they will show.

Navigating Mail’s windows can be a handful when you want to open different viewers, mailboxes (sic) to find messages. With Mail Perspectives you can set up multi-paned windows. Expand the space when you need it and hide all windows with a keystroke. It’s like coming home to tranquility after a busy afternoon of running errands.”

But it is the previously unsung enhanced Mail dock icon about whose praises we are now singing.

Mac Mail Dock Icon with Mail Perspectives
mailsuite dockstar replacement

Above is a sample of the Mail dock icon when set up with Mail Perspectives. Note that you can not only assign different shapes to each badge (and Mail Perspectives offers more shapes than did Dockstar), and different colors, but you can even give each one its own size (which is how we made the traditional inbox red circle larger than the others).

How to Set Up Mail Dock Notification Icons with Mail Perspectives

First, go here and download MailSuite.

After you have installed MailSuite and enabled Mail Perspectives, go to your Mail program, hover over the folder for which you want a notification on your dock icon, and ‘control-click’ it. You will notice that you now have a new option, Open in New Perspective Window.

Open in New Perspective Window
create new perspective window

This will open a separate compact viewer of the contents of that folder, which in and of itself is cool, and useful, but not what this article is about. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like – note where we point to the name of the folder (and if you’re wondering how we got those cool graphics in the folder name, see our article You Can’t Change the Color of Mailbox Folders in Mac Mail but You CAN Add Emoji as Icons to the Mailbox Names!).

new perspectives mail folder

Now, here is the secret to getting those dock icons.

Control-click on the folder name.

set up mail perspective dock icons dock star

And then click on ‘Edit’.

mailperspectives dock icon how to

This will bring up the Mail Perspectives editing window for that folder, from which you can assign a dock icon.

add new mail dock icon badge mail perspectives dockstar

Once you click on one of the available positions, it will bring up the dock icon editing window, from which you can select the shape, color, and size of the badge you want to assign for email in that folder.

mail perspectives dockstar badge selection editing

Once you are happy with the icon, you can drag it to whatever position you want it to occupy on your Mail icon in your dock.

arrange mail dock icons mailperspectives dockstar

Oh, one last thing – once you have your badges on your dock icon, you can also edit their settings from the Mail Perspectives settings pane in Mail preferences. But what you can’t do from the settings in Mal preferences is assign badges to a folder! In the Mail Perspectives settings within Mail preferences you can only assign badges to account inboxes. In order to create a badge for a mail folder that is not an inbox, you have to do it the way that we outline above.

mail perspectives preferences pane panel

The Internet Patrol is completely free, and reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP.

CashApp us Square Cash app link

Venmo us Venmo link

Paypal us Paypal link

Get New Internet Patrol Articles by Email!

Share the knowledge

3 thoughts on “Missing Dockstar? Get Dock Icon Mailbox Badges with This Dockstar Alternative!

  1. We have no plans to offer Dockstar as a standalone – It is fully integrated into our suite and extracting it would not be practical.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful article!

    Just as a note — we inherited DockStar. The original authors of DockStar (ECamm software) passed it on to CreativeInAustria who maintained the plugin for a couple of years. CreativeInAustria then passed it to us a few years ago when they wanted to focus on their other products.

    We felt that marrying the idea of badges to Mail Perspectives windows was a natural fit so we took the concept and completely rewrote DockStar to integrate it into Perspectives.

    We just put out a new version (MailSuite 2019) which adds several new features to Mail Perspectives and we have a few more things planned for the upcoming months.

    1. Hey Scott! Thank you for dropping by here! Do you have any plans to also offer Dockstar as a standalone? We’d totally pay (the same amount as the full Mail Perspectives!) for that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.